The People’s Republic of China may have initially missed out on industrial revolution that made the western nations what they are today and constrained China to an emerging economy in spite of its mercurial economic growth for the last three-and-a-half decades. But learning from the past, it is all set to become a front-runner in the virtual revolution, and is very ready to leverage maximum possible benefits out of it. In fact, it has gone a step further to set off cyber warfare with other countries in the congested and tightly competitive virtual world. And this time, it won’t settle for being a laggard, for it is heading fast towards its most cherished goal of becoming a global superpower!
Undoubtedly, the modern warfare is no more about the number of casualties or destruction of physical property. The new doctrines of war is all about attacking a nation economically and paralyzing it for years to come. An economically broken nation would not only destroy its human capital in the long run but would be politically fragile too. In order to showcase their supremacies, today, nations are not only stealing information that have high strategic value but also destroying trillions of data bytes in host servers, thus leaving victim nations at perils.
China has unleashed muscleflexing exercises through the cyber world and the focus is straight at its favourite enemy, the United States of America. In the real world though, despite being a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a full-fledged nuclear power, China knows it well that it is still not at par with the western armament technology, especially to that of US, UK, France and Russia. The desperation to bridge the gap forms the cornerstone to China’s cyber warfare rationale. Time and again, it has attacked various military and intelligence websites – what we call espionage – to gain access to data, technologies, blueprints, strategies and geo-strategic coordinates. To a large extent it is successful too, as there are increasing concerns in US and UK establishments regarding the price they might have to pay as a result of this on-going cyber war. However, the cyber battle is not just confined to military espionage. It includes intelligence, economic and social espionage too. Back in 2010, computers at diplomatic posts of around 103 countries were intruded by China’s cyber-spies. Phishing attempts were also made on the American power grid, and its financial records and air traffic control systems.